Reducing Marine Biofilm Formation via Surface Modification: Supporting Seagrass Restoration

James Paterson, S Ogden, EJ Tanner, K Benkendorff, SJ Quinton

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review


    The formation of biofilms on man-made surfaces is a common and problematic occurrence in the marine environment. In addition to man-made surfaces, biofilm formation can also appear on naturally occurring marine surfaces, such as sediment and rock substrates and plants. The commencement of a seagrass restoration project in South Australian waters has developed an approach to utilise natural hessian material to assist in seagrass recruitment. However, it is believed that biofilm formation may be a contributing factor in the degradation and longevity of this hessian material. In this context, we investigated the modification of hessian material using different coatings types to (i) reduce biofilm formation and (ii) extend hessian life. Our initial results, using flow cytometric analysis, indicated a reduction in virus like particle (VLP) and heterotrophic bacterial abundance between untreated and phenyltrimethoxysilane (PTMS) coated hessian. Furthermore, the cytometric sub-group formation of VLPs and heterotrophic bacteria exhibited distinct changes between coatings. The identification of bacteria within the formed biofilm on each hessian bag was also carried out using 16S pyrosequencing. These results highlighted marked changes in community composition between different coating types. This study provides an understanding on how the modification of hessian surfaces can alter the abundance and composition of the bacterial community formed in the associated biofilm, generating valuable information for further studies into antifouling in the marine environment.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationAbstract Book
    Subtitle of host publicationFirst EMBO Conference on Aquatic Microbial Ecology – SAME13
    EditorsS Amalfitano, M Coci, G Corno, GM Luna
    Number of pages1
    ISBN (Print)9788890971419
    Publication statusPublished - 2013
    Event13th Symposium on Aquatic Microbial Ecology: The First EMBO Conference on Aquatic Microbial Ecology - Congress Palace, Stresa, Italy
    Duration: 8 Sept 201313 Sept 2013 (Conference overview)


    Conference13th Symposium on Aquatic Microbial Ecology
    Abbreviated titleSAME13
    OtherThis symposium will be organized in the tradition of the very successful SAME meetings, coupling the outstanding scientific level of lectures and communications to the unique convivial atmosphere of SAME. We have not defined one conference theme, in order to enlarge as much as possible the coverage of the different advances in aquatic microbial ecology achieved in the last years, as well as the most exotic perspectives.
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